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Bluebonnets and Texas Wildflowers in the Spring: Lady Bird Johnson's Legacy

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Field of Texas Bluebonnets

Field of Texas Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets and Wildflowers

We love to take a drive out into the countryside in the Spring of each year when the bluebonnets and other wildflowers are at their peak in Texas to take some pictures. Many people have the same idea. When the cars start stacking up on the sides of the roads, one can pretty well rest assured that a beautiful sight lies ahead.

With cameras in hand, the people wander into the fields to see and record that year's bounty of bluebonnets and other wildflowers of every hue and description. Many photos are taken, particularly with the vast areas of bluebonnets in bloom. Children and adults like to pose with those iconic wildflowers. We have seen people taking pictures of their pets amidst the bluebonnets as well.

  • Did you know that the bluebonnet is the official state flower of Texas? It was designated as such as far back as 1901.
  • Bluebonnets are not all blue despite the name.

Depending upon the weather, bluebonnets can bloom anywhere between March to May. Local radio and television stations keep people updated each year as to when they are in their prime.

Long before we moved to Texas, we heard accounts from my grandparents who vacationed in Texas during the long Wisconsin winter months about the beauty of the bluebonnets and other wildflowers in the Lone Star State.

Reseeding

It is truly amazing to personally see bluebonnets adding seasonal color to a wide variety of landscapes. They are a hardy winter annual. If left to go to seed, as is common along highways where the ground is mostly undisturbed, they can reappear year after year.

If people wish to have them growing in their yards, they must not mow the grass until this natural reseeding occurs.

Lady Bird Johnson

When President Lyndon Johnson was in office, from 1963 to 1969, his wife "Lady Bird" made beautification and the seeding of wildflowers one of her prime points of focus.

Wildflower seeds were sown, not only in Texas but all across America. She deeply cared about the environment. Partly due to her efforts, the Highway Beautification Act passed in 1965. Now many of the highways all across our nation are blessed with the natural beauty of wildflowers.

Read More from WanderWisdom

National Wildflower Research Center

In 1982 Lady Bird Johnson, along with Helen Hayes, founded the National Wildflower Research Center. She donated 60 acres of land plus over $100,000 to further these efforts. On Lady Bird's birthday in 1998, it was renamed in her honor.

The Lady Bird Wildflower Center continues the research and work of environmentally making our land beautiful and sustainable for future generations.

The roads today are splashed with an array of colorful seasonal flowers. They are enjoyable year after year as most wildflowers are self-seeding and, therefore, generate the next year's crop of eye-catching beauties.

This video shows Washington and other landmarks, plus her interest in nature.

"We are obligated to leave the country looking as good if not better than we found it." Lady Bird Johnson:

Enjoy Your Area Wildflowers!

Springtime generally offers a spectacular show of blooming wildflowers in most areas of the country. We can thank Lady Bird Johnson for the heightened awareness and implementation of this beautification project and its impact on the environment. She has left behind a beautiful legacy.

Wildflowers grow in every area of Texas at different times of the year. According to the magazine Texas Highways, there are some 5,000 different types of wildflowers that grow here!

Bluebonnets are in many Texas locations but grow profusely in central Texas, as the map below shows. While we see some of them growing in roadside areas in a few portions of where we live in Houston, we generally head to Brenham and Chappell Hill if we wish to see vast fields and hillsides carpeted with them. For those who live in Austin, there are numerous nearby sites to enjoy.

Be sure to check out the Texas Department of Transportation Wildflower Guide link at the bottom of this page. You will see identified images of the various flowers. Also listed are wildflower drives, bluebonnet festivals, and more.

Locations where people find vast areas of bluebonnets each spring.

Be forewarned! If you start watching this video, you won't want it to end!

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

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